Rhythm is omnipresent in nature and is experienced in different ways. Visual, auditory or tactile, rhythm is abundant all around us – familiar, yet intriguing. From a visual perspective, rhythm is all about patterns – be it in the predictable tessellation of a honeycomb, the hypnotic perfection of the Fibonacci spiral or the precise and fractal geometry of snowflakes. While those mesmerising patterns may often seem random on the surface, a closer look would reveal a certain rhythm achieved through repetition, alternation and progression.
In architecture and design, rhythm is used to create movement that draws the viewer’s eye to the repetitive, flowing elements of the design. Rhythm can, therefore, be a powerful tool for creating striking designs that draw people into those environments. One proven way to achieve this rhythm in building design is through the use of battens.
Designers, for instance, employ battens from Covet’s Ever Art Wood aluminium series to create striking patterns that add visual rhythm to the built environment. The use of linear batten cladding on tall, multi-storeyed buildings creates a repetitive pattern of long, straight lines, while curved battens can be used to create an undulating wave effect.
Ever Art Wood batten cladding from Covet International offers a broad range of options in terms of lengths, colours and textures, allowing designers to create rhythm in several projects across Australia.
Uninterrupted alternation for more visual impact
Battens placed in a simple repetitive pattern can create simple visual rhythm; however, adding an altered element creates greater visual impact by making the design flow.
At the NSWRL Centre of Excellence’s lecture theatre space, Ever Art Wood battens were used by the designers employing the concepts of both repetition and alternation. The battens were specified in varying dimensions and installed in a repeating pattern of two thinner battens followed by a thicker one. From a distance, one can see the linear rhythm of the spaces but as they move closer to the wall, the movement can be experienced with a greater sensory effect.
Covet’s Kabebari 2 part concealed fix battens gave the installation a floating look. The Kabebari system featuring a screw-on backplate covered by the batten eliminated the need for visible screws or cross beams. Strip lighting was also embedded seamlessly within the design thanks to the customisable length of the battens, allowing the rhythm to continue without missing a beat.
Rhythm even in voids
In this retail and office building project in Geelong, Ever Art Wood battens frame a feature wraparound LED screen on the upper level of a corner building. The designers chose battens in staggered lengths to create eye-catching voids in irregular shapes but in a rhythmic arrangement, which resulted in even more visual interest. Battens of varying depths were used in random sequences to create a staccato effect across the facade.
Additionally, custom metallic blue battens were utilised across the awning, framing the vertical lines above. The blue of the battens pops against the two timber-look colours on other vertical pieces, adding to the design’s depth.
Geometry in undulation
At the Lanzhou Noodle Bar in Chadstone, linear battens were installed in curved layouts and rolling lengths, creating a varied yet familiar pattern as an artistic interpretation of the restaurant’s signature dish, beef noodles.
The circular shape of Koshi round hollow section battens enhanced the visual interplay between straight edges and soft curves, with the battens – which were cut to precise lengths to create a gentle wave-like effect – taking on a freestanding look. Hung from the edge of the awning in a dual-layered arrangement, the battens follow the curved shape of the facade to create a repetitive, linear pattern with the soothing effect of a rolling wave.
Covet Ever Art Wood battens offer plenty of design options that can be customised to express rhythm in myriad ways. Realistic timber finishes and textures to custom coloured metallics, and defined edges to cylindrical or trapezoidal forms, all in various lengths and depths, add versatility to your material choices when you are creating rhythm in design.